||CASHING IN ON CAUSE-RELATED
Reach out to new customers by supporting
a social initiative that's near and dear to them.
by Jeffrey Sussman
Want to increase your sales and profits? Try a PR campaign
built around cause-related marketing. Support a popular cause,
and you can do well by doing good.
Stone Mountain handbags, a manufacturer and distributor of
leather handbags came to me, asking me to create a PR campaign
that would increase its sales
and profits. I asked the president of the company, Kenny Orr,
if he had a particular cause he
would like to support. He told me that several of his relatives
had been stricken by cancer. I
suggested that he establish The Stone Mountain Breast Cancer
Awareness Fund, which would
donate 5% of his company's profits from the sale of handbags
to breast cancer research centers
and hospitals. Together, we agreed to name the program "Handbags
for Hope." We
created in-store signs, tent cards, and hangtags, each of
which carried a message explaining the
Handbags for Hope campaign. We placed the tent cards on handbag
counters in department
stores. Stores put up our signs in strategic locations. Each
purse had a hangtag with a
simple pink, crossed ribbon. I sent out press releases announcing
the program to media around
the country. We received an avalanche of publicity.
That year, Stone Mountain’s sales increased by 18%.
We learned that when a woman went into a department store
and saw that by purchasing our handbags, Stone Mountain would
donate a portion of her purchase price to a cause that was
important to her, she chose our handbags instead of ones that
did not donate money to a worthwhile cause. The campaign,
using cause marketing, was a great success.
Jeffrey Sussman is the author of the popular book, Power Promoting:
How to Market Your Business to The Top! and is president of
Jeffrey Sussman, Inc., marketing and public relations. His
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his Website is